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Keeping our hair on! Hair loss support thread!

(238 Posts)
coffeecake Wed 10-Oct-12 20:38:52

Hi, as promised and based on a few Mumsnetters expressing a desire of a support thread for hair loss, here it is!
Feel free to ask any questions, share your experiences etc...

Sheila Wed 10-Oct-12 21:05:59

I'm in!

I''d really like to hear some positive stories about hair regrowth. I'm at the early stages of hair loss, applying Minoxidil everyday and wondering if it's going to make any difference.

Very tired of the constant, overwhelming fear of going bald so would really like some good news.

Sheila Wed 10-Oct-12 21:08:06

I'm in!

I''d really like to hear some positive stories about hair regrowth. I'm at the early stages of hair loss, applying Minoxidil everyday and wondering if it's going to make any difference.

Very tired of the constant, overwhelming fear of going bald so would really like some good news.

Sheila Wed 10-Oct-12 21:09:31

Sorry double posted for some reason!blush

duende Wed 10-Oct-12 21:44:08

I suffer from hair loss. I have underactive thyroid but this seems to be under control at the moment. I also have low ferritin levels and have been taking iron supplements since July. In the last two weeks my hair seems to be falling out a bit less but it was so bad that I had it chopped off and now have a short bob.

Sheila Wed 10-Oct-12 22:09:57

Hi Duende, can I ask how low your ferritin is? Mine tested as 16, which is counted as normal but I was told this is actually pretty low.

chipstick10 Wed 10-Oct-12 22:34:10

For optimum hair growth it should be over 70. Mine tested at 36, after four months id got it up to 105

duende Wed 10-Oct-12 22:42:29

Hi Sheila, mine was 14 when tested and my GP says it may take as long as 6-12 months of supplementation to get it up to the right level (i suppose she means about 70)
Chipstick10, that sounds like a good increase, so maybe it can happen quicker [hopeful]

WildThongyoumakemyringsting Wed 10-Oct-12 22:59:20

Thank you coffee

Im in!

coffeecake Thu 11-Oct-12 11:08:07

Chipstick did the ferritin help with your hair at all? When I had some blood tests they were normal but they didn't tell me what the results were as such (ie iron levels etc...).
When they test for iron do they necessarily test for ferritin (is it the same?).
I was supposed to see a dermatologist but he doesn't deal with scalp problems/hair loss. He gave me the name of someone else near the town where I live but you have to go through the NHS to see her. I don't think my GP will refer me sad. It's so hard to get a referral these days.
I don't know what to do know. I might see a homeopath.
If hair loss is always due to internal reasons (like that MN said, the one who is a trichologist) then surely a homeopath can help as they treat the patient holistically (ie they look at everything from family history to personality etc..).

I took my DC to see a homeopath once, regarding his asthma, and he hasn't used his inhaler since.
It turned out his immune system had to be boosted, as he only suffered from weezing when he had a cold/cough.

grimRiaper Thu 11-Oct-12 11:27:34

Hi. Hope you don't mind me posting, but my DS (15) is losing hair at his temples, his scalp seems to have a red rash. We are taking him to the GP next week, but I am just wondering what, if any, tests they might do? He also suffers with reflux and eczema, so have been wondering if they're all linked to stress?

coffeecake Thu 11-Oct-12 13:17:23

Hi Grim I'm afraid I am no expert, I'm just experiencing hair loss and I just thought I would start a thread.
For me I think it's stress, but for your son maybe the GP will find that it's related to his eczema? I have no idea.
When I went to GP he did tests for Iron, hormones, Thyroid, Liver function and testosterone.

Medal Thu 11-Oct-12 14:21:09

And me smile I am having all over hair loss called telogen effluvium due to the shock to my body of changing my diet to a low carb one a few months ago. Hoping it will sort itself out now I am eating properly and taking some supplements. I am trying to eat protein with every meal which is meant to be good for hair growth but quite hard going! I have just asked my GP for hormone tests today to make sure there is nothing else going on.

Grim, could it be psoriasis (scaly red rash)? If so that will affect hair growth. I am sure the doctor will be of some help or will transfer you to a dermatologist.

coffeecake Thu 11-Oct-12 17:45:15

Medal, did you go to a dermatologist?
Have you noticed any new hairgrowth at all? I am noticing some new short hair growing along my hairline and I hope it's good news, but I don't know if it's what people get anyway as I have never looked that closely.
My mum kindly asked her hairdresser for me and she said "if she is noticing new hairgrowth she must have lost some hair at some point without realizing and it's growing back now."
But she recommended seeing a dermatologist. I have contacted one in my town which hasn't replied, I really need to find one in my area.

coffeecake Thu 11-Oct-12 17:46:00

And medal, did you see a shedding at some point and if so has it stopped now?

yellowsun Thu 11-Oct-12 18:42:20

I started losing my hair over the summer holidays. I've had blood tests which are 'normal'. I've put it down to a mega stressful time at work in July or losing 1.5 stone in 6 weeks on weightwatchers around the same time. Soma delayed reaction from that. I can see regrowth appearing but still feeling paranoid about what is coming out on my brush.

Medal Thu 11-Oct-12 18:56:28

I am still noticing a large amount of hair coming out, when I run my fingers through it and when I wash it, I daren't brush it anymore. It hasn't let up for the last couple of months at least and I am getting very thin all over my head. think I must have lost 50% of my hair, it certainly feels like it, and I can't see any regrowth particularly yet sad

I did see a dermatologist a few weeks ago who was very reassuring, but as it hasn't improved yet I am wondering about paying to see a trichologist to get a second opinion.

yellowsun my hair has been diet related but not stressed related (altho feeling plenty stressed now!). Can I ask how long it has taken you to notice regrowth since noticing hair loss and are you still shedding?

WildThongyoumakemyringsting Thu 11-Oct-12 19:43:24


Im thinking of either asking for a referral to a trichologist or paying for an appointment. I see there is one in Glasgow not far from my office.

Medal Thu 11-Oct-12 19:47:52

The only down fall is the cost - why does it have to be £150! And how many other things are they going to try and sell?

mrsrhodgilbert Thu 11-Oct-12 19:48:36

Can I tell you about my experience? About 2/1/2years ago I noticed that my hair was getting very thin, particularly on top where I was very aware of scalp showing through. I posted on here at the time and got some lovely comments and advice. My GP diagnosed very low iron levels. My ferritin was 4 so I started a course of iron tablets which I took for 18 months. I also had a mirena coil fitted to prevent further iron problems. It took a very long time for my hair to start regrowing and in that time i saw 2 dermatologists. One at my local hospital who was very offhand and just said I would end up like my nana who had very thin hair, that is hereditary female pattern hair loss. The second consultant was about 50 miles away and I researched him and got a referral from my gp. He did agree that the first man could have been correct but his atttude was totally different and he offered hope that the situation would improve.

Throughout this time I was having regular blood tests and here is the important bit. After many months my iron levels improved enough to be classed as normal. That is what the gp's in the practice who saw the results come in from the lab classified them as. However...they were not aware of my hair issues and were just seeing iron levels which were within the norm. But to allow hair to recover and regrow iron levels have to be quite a way above just normal. It was for this reason that I took iron for so long. My gp was great and just kept prescribing until we could see an improvement. Every time I got a 'normal' result I had to find out exactly what the figures were (which involved a telephone consultation with the practic e nurse) to see if they were actually going up. You need to be determined about this, keep checking.

My hair has improved hugely and I don't really think about it any more. I still have very short tufts coming through on top and my hairdresser says she can see a real improvemant now. If you think you may have low iron issues please persevere, it takes a long time and you need to find out why you have low iron and sort that out too, in my case heavy periods. Good luck.

coffeecake Thu 11-Oct-12 20:38:07

Mrs thanks that's really helpful. I had read somewhere that you do need a lot of iron (something like 15 mg a day? Or 20 even) to have healthy hairgrowith or regrowth.
Now I am wondering whether my "normal" results were in the normal range but still a bit low. I mean ferritin or something else (low or high).
When you say you took Iron, do you remember how much you took and how long it took to grow back?
Can I just ask, do any of you experience a "tingling" sensation in their scalp at all?
I do, not all the time (sometimes I don't feel anything for 2 weeks), but I do feel it, I can't really describe it but it's a tingling, prickling feeling in a specific area (usually an area where the hair is thinner, like the top or the temples etc...) and I seem to get it when I am stressed or anxious.
My MIL said she got that years ago when she was stressed (in the crown area where her hair is the thinnest). She also suffered from thinning hair.

duende Thu 11-Oct-12 21:14:46

Medal, that's interesting- I was on a low carb diet fom May for 2 months, and my hair loss became even worse since. Not sure if its a coincidence as my ferritin levels were already low then.

I think i may have made it wors by giving blood in May as well.

Medal Thu 11-Oct-12 21:27:25

Duende, really? I also started in May and carried on for 3 months till August which was when it started. I have been eating normally since August. Now I am sitting here feeling sick and scared after running my fingers through my hair and a whole bunch coming out, when is this going to end?

Pseudonymity Thu 11-Oct-12 21:40:53

Hi folks, just thought I would add my experience. I've had very thin hair for a long time, hair that was constantly shedding. Since I've been on anti-depressants (for about 2 years) my hair has improved immensely, the shed is down and it looks a lot better. I can't say that it's down to the medication for sure, obviously, but my hair loss was long-standing and this is the only thing I can think of that has changed.

duende Thu 11-Oct-12 21:41:53

Medal how do you know that there are no other reasons in your case? Could you have some iron/ thyroid problems? I'm just wondering if low carb could be a coincidence?
I know how you feel- i was fed up with having to pick clumps of hair off my desk at a couple of times a day, washing it was a majorly stressful event and we now have a dyson animal hover even though we have no pets...

I must say having had it cut has made me feel better about it.

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